After what was possibly the most boring race of the year, we get to go to the most exciting spot on the schedule in Talladega. With this race being in the dead center of the playoffs it leaves a lot of room for error on every drivers part, because to be honest only Hamlin and Larson are safe. 

I talked about it earlier this week, but with the points so bunched up it means the “big one” can have significant effects on the playoff picture. If anyone in the playoffs has a bad day on Sunday, it could very well end their chances barring a win at the Roval.

We have a lot of superspeedway aces in the playoffs and multiple names with Talladega wins in their past, so the chances of us having a playoff driver win are high in my opinion. That being said you can never count out an underdog, and I’ve got both for you below.

Favorite: Ryan Blaney

I cam into the playoffs expecting Blaney to win two more races, and that was before the two surprise wins at Michigan and Daytona. This race, the Roval, and Martinsville were three races I thought he had a high probability of winning.

Penske cars are all strong here, but Blaney has arguably been the best Penske car this season and already has a superspeedway win to his credit this season at Daytona. He has a unique skill of being able to avoid wrecks and be in a position to win at the end, and I think that remains true on Sunday.

Dark Horse: Chase Briscoe

I have been impressed with Briscoe this season. Despite the horrible consistency of SHR overall, he has arguably been the second-best car on the team despite Almirola winning a race this season. He’s been flirting with becoming a consistent top 15 threat in this back half of the season and I’ve seen him running upfront in all these superspeedway races so far.

He finished 11th here earlier this year and was consistently finding his way upfront. I think Briscoe is a guy that could sneak a surprise win on us before the year is out either here or next week at the Roval. I like what he’s been able to do this year, and I’ll give you a little spoiler,  he’s going to be my dark horse next week as well.


High-End Picks:

  1. Ryan Blaney: $10,700
  2. Denny Hamlin: $10,500
  3. Ross Chastain: $9,600
  4. William Byron: $9,800
  5. Alex Bowman: $10,200

Mid-Tier Picks:

  1. Brad Keselowski: $8,600
  2. Chase Elliott: $8,800
  3. Kyle Larson: $8,400
  4. Joey Logano: $7,900
  5. Austin Dillon: $7,100

Low-End Picks: 

  1. Chase Briscoe: $5,600
  2. Matt DiBenedetto: $6,300
  3. Bubba Wallace: $5,900
  4. Erik Jones: $6,500
  5. Corey LaJoie: $6,900

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